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Best Airline Miles Credit Cards of 2018

Jennifer Blocker
Updated on: 05/05/2018

Americans are obsessed with credit cards. About three quarters of all Americans have at least one card in their wallet. Many of the most popular cards offer cardholders rewards for making purchases, but not all rewards cards are created equally.

Figuring out which card is right for you can be overwhelming since there are so many different options on the market. While one solution is to get a straightforward cashback card, travel cards that offer rewards, like co-branded airline credit cards, can be a lot more valuable.

8 Top Rated Airline Miles Credit Cards

Airline cards earn some of the best rewards, including free flights and upgrades. More than that, they typically offer a variety of perks and benefits that are great for flyers and travelers in general. You might get complimentary or discounted airport lounge access, free checked bags, priority seating, elite status, car rental coverage, travel insurance and more.

If you fly often, or you’re planning a dream vacation, it’s worth getting an airline credit card. We’re here to help you figure out which one you should get and how to maximize the value of the miles you’ll earn.

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Intro APR on Purchases
0% (up to 14 months)
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% (up to 14 months)
Regular APR
See Site
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Travel and Miles
Bonuses & Rewards
    • April 2018: Best Travel Rewards and Air Miles Credit Cards

      • Clicking "Apply Now" will take you to the Credit-Land.com website to view card offers
      • Fly on Any Airline, Anytime
      • Offers Available for Excellent and Good Credit
    Best Airline Credit Card for Earning Miles Fast : Discover it® Miles Card

    To apply for this offer please contact
    Discover Bank

    Intro APR on Purchases
    0% intro APR for 14 months from date of account opening
    Intro APR on Balance Transfers
    10.99% intro APR for 14 months from date of first transfer, for transfers under this offer that post to your account by June 10, 2018
    Regular APR
    13.24% to 24.24% Variable±
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Rewards Program
    Discover it® Miles Rewards
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 1.5Miles on Airfare
    • 1.5Miles on Hotels
    • 1.5Miles on Gas
    • 1.5Miles on All Other Purchases
    • Unlimited 1.5X rewards on every purchase

      • Miles earned are matched at the end of the first year of cardmembership
      • Up to a $30 statement credit each year for in-flight Wi-Fi purchases
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee

    Travel Benefits

    $30 In-Flight Wi-Fi Access

    You will be reimbursed for up to $30 in purchases of wireless internet access on an aircraft per anniversary year. The statement credit will be issued for the purchase amount in U.S. dollars within seven business days.

    No Foreign Transaction Fees

    The Discover miles card does not charge foreign transaction fees so you can rest easy when you are abroad.

    Why should you get this card?

    • Great Earning Potential: You always earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent, which equates to 1.5 percent cash back. Don’t settle for 1 percent! The Discover it Miles card is better.
    • Miles Can be Redeemed for Anything: You don’t have to wait until you have travel coming up to use your miles. Even though the Discover it Miles card earns Miles, it is a cash back card.
    • Miles Doubled for the First Year: At the end of your first year as a card member, Discover will match all of the miles you’ve earned!
    • $30 in Annual Wi-Fi Credits: Next time you have a long flight you can purchase Wi-Fi and have Discover cover the cost up to $30 per year.

    Our Expert's Conclusion

    The Discover it Miles card is wonderful for two types of people. The first, and most obvious, is for someone looking for a single credit card that’s easy to use and that can do it all. The Discover it Miles card is a great option because it earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and redemptions areone cent per mile toward any purchase. Plus thereare a couple of other nice benefits, like $30 in annual Wi-Fi credits and no foreign transaction fees. As a no-fee card, all of that is essentially free.

    The second type of person that the Discover it Miles card is a great option for is someone who is looking to truly maximize rewards. The Discover it is basically a no-brainer for the first year because all miles are doubled , meaning that it effectively earns 3 miles per dollar spent (1.5 when you purchase and 1.5 at the end of the year). After the first year it deserves a spot in the wallet of someone who wants to maximize rewards for purchases not included in the bonus earning categories of their other rewards credit cards.

    • Get unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar you spend on purchases.
    • No annual fee.
    • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year (new cardmembers only). For example, 30,000 Miles turns to 60,000 Miles.
    • No blackout dates. Fly any airline, any time.
    • We will reimburse up to $30 of your in-flight Wi-Fi purchases each year with automatic credits to your statement.
    • Freeze ItSM on/off switch for your account.
    • Keep tabs on your FICO® Score.
    • You can always count on 100% US-based customer service, anytime. We will not waste your time selling you other products when you call us.
    • Your Miles never expire.
    Best Co-Branded Airline Credit Card : Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®
    Apply Now
    Intro APR on Purchases
    N/A
    Intro APR on Balance Transfers
    N/A
    Regular APR
    17.49% to 25.49% Variable±
    Annual Fee
    $0 first year, then $99
    Rewards Program
    AAdvantage®
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 2xMiles on American Airlines Purchases, Dining and Gas
    • 1xMiles on All Other Purchases
    • 60,000 bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months

      • Earn a $100 American Airlines flight discount after spending $20,000 in a year and renewing your card
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • %25% savings on purchases on American Airlines flights

    Travel Benefits

    In-Flight Savings:

    Receive a 25 percent discount on eligible in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your AAdvantage credit card on American Airlines flights.

    Priority Boarding:

    Get on board American Airlines flights early and claim that overhead bin space before it fills up.

    Free Checked Bag:

    First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions.

    Why should you get this card?

    • Good Sign-Up Bonus: The standard 60,000 -mile sign-up bonus is worth at least $450 in flights and can easily get you a domestic round-trip ticket.
    • Free Checked Bag: You and up to 5 people on your itinerary get a free checked bag. That’ll save you $50 per person per bag for a round-trip flight.
    • Access to Reduced Mileage Awards: Book flights on select routes for up to a 7,500 miles discount. Featured destinations change often.

    Our Expert's Conclusion

    If you fly American Airlines, the AA credit card can be a great value for the money. The sign-up bonus in conjunction with the waived annual fee for the first year makes it a risk-free proposition. And 60,000 AAdvantage miles can take you on a round-trip journey to any destination in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America.

    Then there are the perks and benefits you’ll enjoy at no additional cost, such as free checked bags and reduced mileage awards. Even double miles for American Airlines purchases is a worthy benefit, considering how hard it is to earn AAdvantage miles since the cheapest seats now earn only half the standard miles.

    • Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
    • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines purchases.
    • 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants.
    • 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations.
    • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.
    • Fly to great destinations on American Airlines operated flights for up to 7,500 fewer AAdvantage® miles! So you'll save your AAdvantage® miles for another trip. Visit aa.com/reducedmileageawards for more information.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases.
    • First checked bag is free.
    • Enjoy Group 1 Boarding on American Airlines domestic flights.
    • Receive a 25% savings on eligible in–flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights.
    Best Airline Credit Card for Earning Miles : Venture® Rewards Credit Card
    Apply Now
    Intro APR on Purchases
    N/A
    Intro APR on Balance Transfers
    N/A
    Regular APR
    14.49% to 24.49% Variable±
    Annual Fee
    $0 first year, then $95
    Rewards Program
    Venture® Rewards
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 10xMiles at hotels.com/venture
    • 2xMiles on All Other Purchases
    • +No cap to the amount of rewards you can earn
    • 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months

    • No Foreign Transaction Fee

    Travel Benefits

    Premium Hotel Benefits:

    Enjoy perks, such as room upgrades and free breakfast, at over 900 Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection properties.

    No Foreign Transaction Fee:

    You’ll never have to pay additional fees to use your card while traveling abroad.

    Complimentary Concierge Services:

    24/7 assistance for dinner reservations, booking travel and special access to sporting and entertainment events.

    Why should you get this card?

    • A Generous Sign-up Bonus: The 50,000-mile sign up bonus can be redeemed for $500 worth of travel.
    • Earnings Add up Quickly: Every dollar you spend earns 2 miles, not 1.5 or 1 like other cards. There are no categories or promotions to keep track of.
    • It’s Easy to Redeem Miles: Find the best travel deal, pay with your Venture Rewards card and redeem your miles for a statement credit to erase your purchase. Or just redeem your miles online from the Capital One Rewards Center.

    Our Expert's Conclusion

    With a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles and the ongoing earning power of two miles for every dollar spent, there’s a good case for owning the Venture card. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year and you’ll have $460 to spend on travel once you’ve made the required $3,000 in purchases within the first three months. That makes this card a solid contender for your everyday spending. However, if you’re not going to be able to spend a minimum of $3,000 a year on the card, you would be better off selecting a card that has no annual fee.

    • Earn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles—that's 2 miles for every dollar you spend on purchases. 100 miles is equal to $1 in travel rewards.
    • 10X miles per dollar spent at hotels.com/venture.
    • Use your Venture® card to make travel purchases on any website or app—any airline, any hotel, rental cars and more.
    • Once you make a travel purchase with Venture, redeem your miles as a statement credit toward the cost. Your rewards don't expire.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • You're covered by $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen.
    Most Valuable Airline Miles Credit Card : Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

    To apply for this offer please contact
    Barclaycard

    Intro APR on Purchases
    N/A
    Intro APR on Balance Transfers
    0% introductory APR for the first twelve billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening
    Regular APR
    17.24% to 24.24% Variable±
    Annual Fee
    $0 first year, then $89
    Rewards Program
    Barclaycard Arrival Rewards
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 2xMiles on Travel, Dining and Car Rental
    • 2xMiles on Gas
    • 2xMiles on Hotels
    • 2xMiles on All Other Purchases
    • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days

      • 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, everytime you redeem
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee

    Travel Benefits

    24/7 Concierge:

    You have access to a complimentary concierge any time of day. This service works like a personal assistant to help with reservations, hard-to-find items, and more.

    No foreign transaction fee:

    You can earn miles outside the U.S. without worrying about extra fees.

    Why should you get this card?

    • Valuable Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a sign-up bonus worth $400 toward any travel purchase.
    • Excellent Everyday Earning: You’ll get 2 miles for each dollar you spend. That will add up fast.
    • Easy to Redeem: Your miles aren’t tied to a loyalty program. Just buy the flight you want and redeem miles toward that purchase. There are no blackout dates or limited award space.

    Our Expert's Conclusion

    The short answer is absolutely. Depending on your travel and spending habits, this card may or not make sense for you after the first year when you start paying the annual fee, but earning 40,000 miles after meeting the minimum spend and earning 2X miles on all purchases are tremendous benefits. Not only that, but if this becomes your go-to card, miles will rack up fast, and with the 5 percent redemption bonus, that’s like earning 2.1 percent back on every purchase, every day. This card is just as good as any other cashback card currently on the market.

    • 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchase in the first 90 days.
    • Earn 2X miles on all purchases.
    • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem.
    • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing.
    • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country.
    • Redeem your miles for travel statement credits starting at 10,000 miles for $100 toward all or a portion of your travel purchase of $100 or more made within the past 120 days.
    • 0% introductory APR for the first twelve billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening.
    • $89 annual fee waived for the first year.

    Most Flexible Airline Miles Credit Card : American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card

    Most Flexible Airline Miles Credit Card : American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card
    Apply Now
    Bonuses & Rewards
    Annual Fee
    Rewards Program
    Rating
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 3xPoints on Airfare
    • 2xPoints on Dining, Hotels, Travel, Gas and Groceries
    • 1xPoints on Car Rental
    • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
    Annual Fee
    $0 first year, then $195
    Membership Rewards®
    Rating
    95
    • 25,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months

    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • $100 airline fee credit

    Travel Benefits

    Free checked bags:

    First and second checked bags are free for cardholders

    The Hotel Collection:

    Get a $75 credit for activities if you book two consecutive nights at participating hotels through Amex Travel.

    Airline Fee Credit:

    Get an annual $100 fee credit that can cover bag fees, in-flight purchases, change fees and more with one airline of your choice.

    Why should you get this card?

    • Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points for airfare booked directly with airlines, dining out, fuel and snacks at gas stations, groceries at supermarkets and Uber rides—and there’s no cap on the number of points you can earn. Points will add up quickly, and so will your trips!
    • $100 Airline Fee Credit: The airline fee credit can be used toward checked bags, seat upgrades, taxes on award flights and onboard meals and entertainment. It’s even possible to buy gift cards from some airlines for later use. The credit applies automatically whenever an eligible charge is made.
    • Sign-Up Bonus: Although not the biggest sign-up bonus we’ve seen for an Amex card, 25,000 Membership Rewards points are enough to book a round-trip domestic flight. If travel is not in your plans at the moment, the points are worth at least $250 in statement credits.

    Our Expert's Conclusion

    If you’re in the market for a travel rewards cards with fantastic earning potential, the Premier Rewards Gold card is it. In fact, no other Membership Rewards card offers such significant reward rates. Additionally, you can earn 25,000 points for spending $2,000 in the first three months.

    The points can be transferred to partners or used as cash through the Amex travel center, which offers a choice for purchasing a ticket with points when award seats aren’t available. Flexibility in both earning and redeeming is one of the strongest features of this card.

    • Earn 25,000 Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then $195.
    • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
    • 3X points for airfare purchased directly from airlines.
    • 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets.
    • Earn 2X Membership Rewards points at amextravel.com.
    • 1X points on other purchases.
    • You can get 2x Membership Rewards® points per eligible dollar spent, in addition to a $75 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities when you book a stay of at least two consecutive nights at participating properties, at americanexpress.com/hc.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • $100 Airline Fee Credit.
    • Membership Rewards® program - use points for rewards from over 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise, or entertainment. You can transfer points to our selection of frequent traveler programs.
    Airline Credit Card With the Biggest Bonus : Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
    Apply Now
    Intro APR on Purchases
    N/A
    Intro APR on Balance Transfers
    N/A
    Regular APR
    15.74% to 24.74% Variable±
    Annual Fee
    $0 first year, then $95
    Rewards Program
    ThankYou®
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 3xPoints on Travel, including Gas, Airfare, Hotels, Cruises, Car Rentals and More
    • 2xPoints on Dining and Entertainment
    • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
    • 50,000 bonus points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months

      • 25% bonus when points are redeemed through the ThankYou Travel Center
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee

    Travel Benefits

    No Foreign Transaction Fees:

    Never pay an extra fee to use this card outside the U.S.

    Concierge Service:

    Citi Concierge provides help with travel, shopping and dining.

    Why should you get this card?

    • Great Earning Potental: Generous double and triple point-earning categories, including all travel and gas purchases.
    • Discount on ThankYou Travel Purchases: Get a 25 percent rebate when redeeming for travel through the ThankYou Rewards travel portal.
    • Flexible Redemption Options: You’ll always find a use for your points with 15 airline transfer partners.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees: This card is great for earning rewards while traveling abroad.

    Our Expert's Conclusion

    You can get excellent value out of ThankYou points, particularly if you transfer them to airlines and redeem for expensive premium cabin tickets. If you are a traveler that often books the cheapest economy class ticket, then there can also be strong value in redeeming points through the ThankYou program’s travel portal thanks to the 25 percent discount offered by this card.

    If you are interested in domestic award travel or simple award redemptions, this card may prove to be too complex. Instead, consider cards with more domestic transfer partners. You may not get quite the same value for your points, but there will be more availability and easier redemptions.

    • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
    • 3 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on travel including gas, airfare, hotels, cruises, car rental agencies, travel agencies, railways, public transportation, tolls, taxis, parking and much more.
    • 2 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on dining out and entertainment.
    • 1 ThankYou Points on other purchases.
    • ThankYou® Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for airfare through the ThankYou® Travel Center, as compared to gift cards redeemed from the ThankYou® Rewards collection.
    • No foreign transaction fees on purchases.
    • Annual Fee $95(Fee waived for the first 12 months).
    • No expiration and no limit on the number of points you can earn.
    • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
    Best No Annual Fee Miles Credit Card : VentureOne® from Capital One®
    Apply Now
    Intro APR on Purchases
    0% introductory APR for the first 12 months that your account is open
    Intro APR on Balance Transfers
    N/A
    Regular APR
    13.49% to 23.49% Variable±
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Rewards Program
    Venture® Rewards
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • x10 Miles at hotels.com/venture
    • x1.25 Miles on Gas
    • x1.25 Miles on Dining
    • x1.25 Miles on All Other Purchases
    • 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months

    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • +No cap to the amount of rewards you can earn

    Travel Benefits

    Travel Upgrades and Savings:

    Free upgrades and discounts at select hotels and resorts are part of the Visa Signature card benefits.

    Complimentary Concierge Service:

    Enjoy free assistance 24-hours a day, even while you’re traveling.

    No Foreign Transaction Fee:

    Use your card anywhere in the world and never pay additional fees.

    Why should you get this card?

    • Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points for every purchase you make. No matter what you buy, you’ll earn 1.25 miles for every dollar spent. Those miles will add up fast.
    • Hassle-Free Redemptions: Miles can be applied to any travel purchases, not just airfare. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about blackout dates or limited award space because you buy the travel you want and then apply miles to the purchase.
    • No Annual Fee: It’s hard to be a rewards card that does not charge an annual fee. Every reward you earn is essentially free!
    • Sign-Up Bonus: For a no-fee card, 20,000 miles is an excellent sign-up bonus. It’s worth $200 in travel. All you have to do is spend $1,000 during the first three months you have the card.

    Our Expert's Conclusion

    If you’re looking for a no-fee rewards card that offers a solid sign-up bonus and hassle-free redemptions, than the the VentureOne card from Capital One is a great option. You’ll get 20,000 miles worth $200 for spending just $1,000 in 90 days, plus you’ll earn a generous 1.25 miles per dollar for every purchase.

    Getting the card is a risk-free proposition because it won’t cost you a penny. Whatever miles you earn with the card are pure profit because there aren’t any fees. You can even use the card while traveling internationally, since there are no foreign transaction fees either.

    • One-time bonus of 20,000 miles—equal to $200 in travel—once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
    • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles—that's 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend on purchases. 100 miles is equal to $1 in travel rewards.
    • 10X miles per dollar spent at hotels.com/venture.
    • Use your VentureOne® card to make travel purchases on any website or app—any airline, any hotel, rental cars and more.
    • Annual Fee $0.
    • Once you make a travel purchase with VentureOne, redeem your miles as a statement credit toward the cost. Your rewards don't expire.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • You're covered by $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen.
    • Get 10% off thousands of hotels on HotelTonight through January 2017.
    Best Miles Credit Card from a Low-Cost Carrier : JetBlue® Plus MasterCard®
    Apply Now
    Intro APR on Purchases
    N/A
    Intro APR on Balance Transfers
    0% introductory APR for the first twelve billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening
    Regular APR
    17.49% to 26.49% Variable±
    Annual Fee
    $99
    Rewards Program
    TrueBlue
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 6xPoints on JetBlue Purchases
    • 2xPoints on Dining and Groceries
    • 1xPoints on Gas
    • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
    • 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days

      • 5,000 bonus points annually after your account anniversary
      • 10% of your points back every time you redeem
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • %50% in-flight savings

    Travel Benefits

    Get 10% of Your Points Back:

    10 percent of the points you redeem will be returned to you. There is no cap on number of points you can earn using this benefit.

    In-Flight Savings:

    Get 50 percent off eligible in-flight purchases, including cocktails, beer, wine, meals and JetBlue movies.

    No Foreign Transaction Fee:

    You’ll never pay a fee for using your JetBlue card, no matter where you’re traveling.

    Why should you get this card?

    • Great Earning Potential: This card has three bonus-earning categories: 6x on JetBlue purchases, 2x at restaurants, and 2x at grocery stores.
    • Free Checked Bag: The primary card member and up to three travel companions on the same reservation get a free checked bag. This can result in up to $200 of savings on a round-trip flight.
    • Big Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a 40,000 -point sign-up bonus that’s worth approximately $672 in airfare
    • Ability to Earn Elite Status: You can earn Mosaic status when you spend $50,000 in a calendar year. Status gets you more free checked bags, free alcoholic beverages and priority benefits

    Our Expert's Conclusion

    The JetBlue Plus card is great for frequent JetBlue travelers. The annual anniversary bonus makes this card relatively cheap to have. For anyone that flies at least 2 to 3 times a year on JetBlue, the free checked bag benefit alone can pay for the card.

    More than that, this card has significantly better earning power than most co-branded airline cards. With 2x points at both restaurants and grocery stores, plus an impressive 6x points for JetBlue purchases, there are a ton of opportunities to rack up the points and earn your next free flight quickly.

    • Earn 40,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
    • 6X points on JetBlue purchases.
    • 2X points at restaurants and grocery stores.
    • 1X points on all other purchases.
    • Earn 5,000 Bonus points annually after your account anniversary.
    • Get 10% of your points back every time you redeem to use toward your next redemption.
    • Free first checked bag.
    • No Blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights.
    • Redeem for any seat any time on JetBlue-operated flights.
    • Points awarded into your TrueBlue account don't expire.
    • Earn and share points together with family pooling.

    Compare Airline Miles Credit Cards

    Compare all credit cards by RE® Value, which is an estimate of how much you will earn during first year of credit card use minus annual fees.

    Credit Card
    Bonuses & Rewards
    First Year Rewards
    FEES
    RE® value
    Best Airline Credit Card for Earning Miles : Venture® Rewards Credit Card

    Best Airline Credit Card for Earning Miles : Venture® Rewards Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $980
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $980
    Best No Annual Fee Miles Credit Card : VentureOne® from Capital One®

    Best No Annual Fee Miles Credit Card : VentureOne® from Capital One®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 20,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 30,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $500
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $500
    Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

    Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 30,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $910
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $910
    Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

    Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 35,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,035
    FEES
    -$195
    RE® value
    $840
    Delta Reserve Credit Card

    Delta Reserve Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 40,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,010
    FEES
    -$450
    RE® value
    $560
    Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

    Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 30,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $910
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $910
    Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

    Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 35,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,035
    FEES
    -$195
    RE® value
    $840
    Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card

    Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 40,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,010
    FEES
    -$450
    RE® value
    $560
    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 40,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,071
    FEES
    -$69
    RE® value
    $1,002
    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 40,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,071
    FEES
    -$99
    RE® value
    $972
    Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

    Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 40,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,087
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $1,087
    Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card

    Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 36,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,633
    FEES
    -$450
    RE® value
    $1,183
    British Airways Visa Signature® Card

    British Airways Visa Signature® Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 50,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 Avios for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,228
    FEES
    -$95
    RE® value
    $1,133
    Best Co-Branded Airline Credit Card : Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®

    Best Co-Branded Airline Credit Card : Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 60,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,360
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $1,360
    Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

    Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,304
    FEES
    -$450
    RE® value
    $854
    CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®

    CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 70,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,516
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $1,516
    Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®

    Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 25,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $764
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $764
    Miles & More® World Elite MasterCard®

    Miles & More® World Elite MasterCard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,709
    FEES
    -$89
    RE® value
    $1,620
    AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

    AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,204
    FEES
    -$95
    RE® value
    $1,109
    Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®

    Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 40,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $960
    FEES
    -$69
    RE® value
    $891
    Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®

    Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 35,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $989
    FEES
    -$89
    RE® value
    $900
    JetBlue® MasterCard®

    JetBlue® MasterCard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 10,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $571
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $571
    Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card

    Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 30,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $860
    FEES
    -$75
    RE® value
    $785
    Spirit Airlines™ World Mastercard®

    Spirit Airlines™ World Mastercard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 15,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $864
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $864
    Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard®

    Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 20,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 36,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $840
    FEES
    -$90
    RE® value
    $750
    Asiana Visa® Business Card

    Asiana Visa® Business Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 10,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $0
    FEES
    -$80
    RE® value
    $-80
    Spirit Airlines™ World Mastercard® for Business Credit Card

    Spirit Airlines™ World Mastercard® for Business Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 15,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $864
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $864
    SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card

    SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 15,000 miles sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $585
    FEES
    -$80
    RE® value
    $505
    American Express® Platinum Card®

    American Express® Platinum Card®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 60,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,720
    FEES
    -$550
    RE® value
    $1,170
    Most Flexible Airline Miles Credit Card : American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card

    Most Flexible Airline Miles Credit Card : American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 25,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $987
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $987
    American Express® Green Card

    American Express® Green Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 0 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $434
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $434
    Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

    Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 10,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $615
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $615
    Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

    Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 15,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $706
    FEES
    -$95
    RE® value
    $611
    Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

    Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 0 Starpoints® sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 Starpoints® for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $561
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $561
    Best Airline Credit Card for Earning Miles Fast : Discover it® Miles Card

    Best Airline Credit Card for Earning Miles Fast : Discover it® Miles Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • match all the rewards at the end of first year
    • 36,000 miles for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $720
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $720

    To apply for this offer please contact
    Discover Bank

    More Details
    Airline Credit Card With the Biggest Bonus : Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

    Airline Credit Card With the Biggest Bonus : Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 50,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,132
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $1,132
    Best Miles Credit Card from a Low-Cost Carrier : JetBlue® Plus MasterCard®

    Best Miles Credit Card from a Low-Cost Carrier : JetBlue® Plus MasterCard®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 40,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,225
    FEES
    -$99
    RE® value
    $1,126
    Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 15,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 36,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $510
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $510
    Chase Freedom® Card

    Chase Freedom® Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 15,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $390
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $390
    Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

    Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 50,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,332
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $1,332
    Chase Sapphire Reserve®

    Chase Sapphire Reserve®

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 50,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,632
    FEES
    -$450
    RE® value
    $1,182
    Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

    Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 0 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $240
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $240
    Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

    Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 2,500 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $265
    FEES
    -$0
    RE® value
    $265
    Citi Prestige® Card

    Citi Prestige® Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 0 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $437
    FEES
    -$450
    RE® value
    $-13
    U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

    U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 50,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $1,429
    FEES
    -$400
    RE® value
    $1,029
    Sun Country Airlines® Visa Signature® Card

    Sun Country Airlines® Visa Signature® Card

    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 30,000 points sign-up bonus.
    • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
    First Year Rewards
    $590
    FEES
    -$69
    RE® value
    $521

    Comparing Airline Miles Credit Cards

    To figure out which credit card is best to earn miles or points toward travel rewards there are a couple of things to consider. While earning potential and flexibility are important, many cards come with additional benefits that are also very valuable. You need to consider not only if the card will work for you, earning miles that you’re going to be able to use, but also what additional perks you can take advantage of.

    • Sign-Up Bonus

      Welcome bonuses are the quickest way to earn points or miles quickly. Most cards come with some sort of bonus, though some are bigger than others. And they can vary for the same card over time. Sometimes they can go as high as 100,000 points, though they typically fall in the area of 30,000 points.Big bonuses are great, but there are a lot of other things to consider to. Perhaps most importantly, will you use the miles or points that you earn?

    • Earning Rewards

      The earning potential of airline credit cards can vary a lot. Most of them will offer you bonus points or miles for making purchases that fall into certain categories.

      Some credit cards have rotating bonus-earning categories, but in general you will get the best miles rewards on things related to travel. That doesn’t always mean getting on a plane. Dining out, for example, will often earn extra points with travel-related cards.

      So get to know the bonus-earning categories that come with a card and consider if you spend a lot of money for those types of purchases. Remember, you can also get several cards that offer bonuses for different categories, allowing you to mix and match your spending.

    • Perks and Benefits

      Sometimes the benefits alone can make a card worth getting. Complimentary upgrades, lounge access and priority boarding, for instance, can make any trip much more comfortable.

      Some cards offer annual companion passes as well. That’s potentially one of the most valuable perks available from airline credit cards. A companion pass will allow you to take a friend or family member with you on a round-trip flight for free or a huge discount.

      Free checked bags are another potentially lucrative benefit that many of these cards offer. All domestic carriers except Southwest now charge a fee to check a bag. And increasingly they’re charging even for carry-ons. Many airline cards also allow any companions traveling on the cardholder’s itinerary to also check a bag for free. That can save you hundreds of dollars per flight.

      Travel accident insurance, rental car coverage and lost or delayed baggage insurance are just some of the often overlooked benefits that come with many travel rewards cards. While you hope you won’t ever need to take advantage of this type of travel coverage, it’s reassuring to know that it’s there at no additional cost if you have the right card.

    • Watch Out for the Fees

      The annual fee is the big one. While there are many good no-fee cards available, paying to have a card isn’t always a bad idea. They often have the best benefits and earn the most miles. Just be sure that you’ll earn enough rewards or take advantage of enough benefits to cover the cost of the annual fee. Everything else is net profit.

      Many cards will even waive the annual fee for the first year. That’s a no-risk opportunity to see if the card will work for you. And don’t forget that the sign-up bonus alone is often worth a lot more than the fee.

      If you’re going to travel abroad, you’ll want a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. These fees are usually around 3 percent. That doesn’t sound like much, but it can add up fast. Plus, there are so many cards that don’t charge these fees they’re unnecessary to pay.

      Interest rates can be important, too. It’s never a good idea to carry a balance on a credit card, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. Look for the lowest interest rate possible, particularly if you plan to pay off a big purchase over time or transfer a balance from another card.

    Tips for Maximizing Airline Miles

    If you don’t mind doing a little research and being flexible with your travel plans, you can easily get more value for your points or miles if you use them for travel rewards instead of getting cash back. Why redeem 50,000 points for a $500 statement credit when you could pay for an entire vacation instead?

    While you won’t always get a fantastic deal redeeming for flights, being strategic and planning your redemptions carefully will often result in a surprising amount of free travel. Let’s look at some ways to make your miles go a little further.

    • Tip #1: Have a Strategy

      Whether your strategy involves flying on one airline most of the time and sticking to that carrier’s credit card, or having multiple cards for different purposes, you should be sure to use your cards in a way that will net the most miles. Consider each card’s bonus-earning categories and what you want to do with the miles once you earn them.

      Don’t forget to look for promotions. They can be a great way to get more points or miles. You don’t have to wait for the offers to come to you, you can seek out these offers. Consider altering your travel plans or purchases so you can take advantage of these offers. Some promotions can give you as much as 10x points or miles.

    • Tip #2: Be Flexible

      Be flexible when booking travel. If you travel on off-peak days and hours your miles can go further. For instance, leaving on a Thursday and returning on a Tuesday will probably cost a lot less than flying on a Friday and returning on a Sunday. When booking your flights, look at the days and weeks before and after your ideal date to see if there are any bargains to be had.

      Some carriers even have off-peak seasons and dates. The base rates for flights during those times are often notably lower than during the peak season. Study the airline’s award charts and see if moving your trip a few weeks can save you some miles.

      Once you get to your destination, you can usually save on hotels and admission fees if you’re off-peak. It’s a win-win if you can make it work.

    • Tip #3: Join All the Loyalty Programs

      Become a member of every airline frequent flier programs. You can’t earn miles if you don’t. Plus you have nothing to lose since they’re free. As an added bonus, program members often get targeted offers and promotions that might earn bonus miles or give discounts. You may even get an offer for a new card with limited time offer for a big sign-up bonus.

      And if you fly enough or spend enough money with the right credit card, you can earn elite status. With elite status comes all sorts of benefits. Many carriers give status holders more miles for flying, making it even more lucrative to be a member.

    • Tip #4: Don’t Do Debt

      Pay your bills in full each month. If you pay interest on a balance, you can easily negate the value of your rewards.

      While it’s important to meet any spending required to get a sign-up bonus, you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford. If you do, that bonus won’t be worth earning since you’ll probably end up paying more in interest than you’ll ever earn in free travel.

      Having multiple cards can be part of a good strategy, but you shouldn’t overextend your budget. Spread out new cards so you can be sure to meet those minimum spends while paying off the monthly balance.

    FAQs

    Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.

    • Can you earn miles both with and without credit cards?

      It is possible to earn airline miles without a credit card by joining an airline’s frequent flier program. Every time you fly, you’ll be awarded miles. The number of miles you’ll earn is usually related to the number of miles you travel or the cost of the ticket. Some airlines have partnerships and work in cooperation with hotels or other travel partners that may allow you to earn frequent flier miles with them as well.
      However, having an airline’s co-branded credit card as well as the frequent flier membership is the best way to earn the most miles. That’s because you can earn miles on everyday purchases without ever leaving the ground.
      Having the carrier’s credit card may also allow you to rise through the elite ranks of the frequent flier program faster. If you do, you’ll earn more miles and enjoy more perks.
    • What is the best airline miles credit card?

      The best credit card to earn airline miles will depend on your spending and travel habits combined with what you want to get out of the card. There are many great cards out there. If you often fly on a particular airline, then getting that carrier’s co-branded credit card is an obvious choice. If you need a lot of miles fast, you’ll want a card with a big welcome bonus.

      Then you should consider what kind of perks you might enjoy. They might include lounge access, priority boarding, free checked bags, companion passes and upgrades, just to name a few.

      Don’t be afraid to pay an annual fee either. Some of the best airline credit cards have them. Many of them will waive that fee for the first year, too. The important thing is to get familiar with what each card has to offer and find the one that will work best for your travel and spending habits.

    • How do you churn credit cards for miles?

      Churning credit cards for air miles or points is the practice of opening and closing credit card accounts in order to collect sign-up bonuses. With bonuses reaching heights of 100,000 points, this can be a lucrative way of collecting miles.

      Some issuers have tough rules to ward off this practice, though. For example, American Express allows only one bonus per card per lifetime. On the other hand, the Alaska Airlines cards will give you multiple bonuses even if you’ve had the same card in the past. Check the fine print. Each card issuer has it’s own set of rules.

    • How do airline travel miles work?

      You can earn miles through an airline frequent flier program or with a co-branded airline credit card. How airline rewards are redeemed depends on which miles credit card you have. Although values can vary widely with some programs, it’s easier than you think to figure out. Once you have accumulated some miles, just log into your account and search for flights. Nearly every airline’s website will let you search for flights and look for the price in miles.

      It can often be difficult to put an exact value on airline miles because the cost of the award ticket often depends on availability, date and time of travel, and the popularity of the route. Booking flights on off- peak days, hours and seasons will usually be a better deal and there will usually be more seats available. Most of the big legacy carriers, like Delta, United and American, use this method.

      Other carriers, like Southwest, have a more straightforward award pricing scheme that’s tied directly to the market value of the ticket. If there’s a seat on a Southwest flight, you can book it for the current cash price. Every Southwest mile is worth 1 cent toward any ticket.

      Remember to shop around because changing the day or time can sometimes drastically change the cost.

    • What is the best airline credit card with no annual fee?

      Although there are no-fee credit cards that allow you to earn points or miles toward free flights, the best cards typically come with an annual fee. However, between welcome bonuses and perks the annual fee will be a nominal amount to pay for what you will receive in return.

      Just a couple of free checked bags can potentially cover the cost of a card with a $95 annual fee. But you may also get a sign-up bonus worth several hundred dollars in travel and other valuable perks, like a companion pass. That means you’ll come out way ahead, netting a fantastic profit even if you have to pay a fee to have the card. In other words, an annual fee could be looked at as an investment that will bring you a return.

      Many of the top miles credit cards will waive the annual fee for the first year, too. That means that every miles you earn with that card in the first year is essentially free money.

    • What kind of credit do I need to get an air miles credit card?

      There are points and miles credit cards for people with different types of credit. To get the best airline miles credit cards you will need excellent credit. There are also many options for those with good to fair credit. The better your credit the more offers you will be eligible for.

      Do not waste your time applying for the top-of- the-line cards if you don’t have good credit. You will most likely be denied, which will only drag your score down further. However, there are ways to earn credit card rewards even if you have bad credit. Just be sure to know your credit score and apply for a card that caters to your type of credit.

    Have A Question?
    Ask our credit card expert!